Spring Snow in Midwest Slows Embedded Reporter’s Takeoff

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Whoever thought embedding with a presidential campaign would be a good idea? Sure, follow the guy on his first major tour of the country. Start Saturday with a livestream of Sen. Cory Booker’s “Hometown Kickoff.” Then it’s Monday and Tuesday in Iowa; Wednesday in Georgia; Thursday, Friday, Saturday in Nevada. Just fly out of Jersey on Sunday, settle in to a comfy, midpriced Iowa hotel, and get to the first event, right? Easy-peasy.

Well, Mother Nature can be a mother of a different kind sometimes. The plan was fly out of Newark, connect in Chicago, and on to Des Moines. Except a historic mid-April snowstorm hit the greater Chicago area with up to seven inches of snow, sleet, and steady rain, cancelling a thousand flights, including both my flight to Chicago and the connection to Des Moines.

It didn’t help that we had boarded and taxied to the runway, only to sit in sunny Newark for two hours before being finally being told that our flight was canceled. Just to top it off, it took 90 minutes to find and retrieve my luggage. (“Sir, I never left the ground.”) Our cameraman had it only half as bad. He, at least, made it to Chicago — on an earlier flight — but was stranded there. (And only had to wait four hours for his luggage and camera gear.)

But fear not, Booker Beat readers, we’re booked for direct flights into Omaha Monday morning (weather permitting) and will be there for Sen. Booker’s first event in Sioux City, where the high is expected to be 66 degrees.

Good news is, I’m already packed. — David Cruz